Terms to Know: Managing Skin Complications

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by the WoundSource Editors

Cellulitis: Inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues usually caused by acute infection.

Epidermis: the outer layer of the skin, which is the protective layer against the outside elements.

Epithelialization: the growth of the epidermis over a wound during the remodeling stage.

Granulation: condition occurring in a full-thickness wound where the growth of small vessels and connective tissue forms “scaffolding” as the wound rebuilds.

Incontinence-associated dermatitis: Inflammation and skin erosion associated with exposure to urine and/or stool.

Infection: an overgrowth of bacteria and microorganisms causing an imbalance in the wound bed that can cause systemic and local signs and symptoms.

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Maceration: condition due to tissue breakdown after exposure to moisture.

Necrosis: tissue death or loss of viability after pressure or injury or disease process.

Partial-thickness: loss of epidermis and partial loss of the dermis.

Periwound skin: Tissue surrounding the wound up to 4cm.

Pressure injury: an area of localized tissue affected by ischemia due to pressure and/or other contributing factors.

Rash or dermatitis: An area of skin that has become swollen, inflamed, or irritated by allergens or repeated irritation of the area.

Skin Tear: A wound caused by shear, friction, and/or blunt force resulting in separation of skin layers that can be either partial-thickness or full-thickness.

Slough: loose necrotic tissue, typically yellow.

Surgical wounds: Entry sites sutured or held together by a margin approximation dressing or device after an operative procedure; complications include infection and dehiscence.

Tensile strength: the strength of the tissue. It is measured by the amount of pressure and force it takes to break the tissue.

Undermining: tissue loss underneath the intact wound margin.

Wound margin: the border around the wound.

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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